FORT WAYNE – Its the C everybody forgets in Horactio Banks name.
They just miss it, he said.
Except for the unique spelling, there wasnt much that made Banks stand out on the Ball State football roster when he first came to Muncie two years ago out of Chicago. He was just another body in a sea of freshmen, or so it seemed.
As a redshirt last season, Banks was a practice player who zoomed by the starting defense with alarming regularity, so much so that even the Ball State veterans wanted him on the field.
After what happened Saturday, Ball State coach Pete Lembo wonders if Banks should see even more of the field.
If anything, you could argue that Horactio Banks deserved to play more than he did, Lembo said.
As the backup running back to sophomore Jahwan Edwards, Banks got just seven carries in last weeks 52-27 loss at No. 12 Clemson. But he ran for 120 yards and scored on runs of 54 and 21 yards.
You never know what to expect, Banks said.
I didnt expect to rush for that much. I just practiced hard, and the O-line did a great job of opening up the holes for me, and I went through it. I was gifted enough to get 100 yards.
A week before that, Edwards was gifted enough to run for 200 yards in Ball States 37-26 win over Eastern Michigan.
Between the two, the Cardinals average 290.5 rushing yards, which is ranked No. 8 in the country – a statistic that Indiana coach Kevin Wilson is aware of because his Hoosiers will play host to Ball State at 8 p.m. Saturday in Bloomington.
One running back has over 200 yards in one game, and now another running back that pops up at Clemson over 100, Wilson said. Both running backs are averaging over 8 yards a clip.
Because Banks was a high school standout in Chicago, his hope was to play for Illinois.
But that didnt happen. The Illini werent interested. And even though hell find himself on a Big Ten field Saturday, he sees it as no big deal.
Every games just a game, Banks said. Whether its Clemson or IU or Eastern Michigan or any other team that we have to play this year, it doesnt matter.
Nor is he overexcited about his early success.
Its hard work, Banks says, that got him here – hard work in the offseason; hard work in the spring; harder work in the fall.
When I first came to campus last summer, I was, like, picking up things real slow, he said. The coaches worked with me and I matured. I got stronger, faster, thanks to the coaching staff that stayed with me. I tried to work hard in spring.
I knew in time I was going to pick up somewhere along the line. I knew I wasnt going to stay young forever.
I always talk to my roommate, Jahwan. Hes a starter, so its like theres no reason why I shouldnt be playing. I can run with a lot of people. Ive been working hard. They told me to keep working. Itll make a difference.